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Cereal comparative genetics and preharvest sprouting

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Most genes in hexaploid bread wheat are triplicated. Knowledge of the relationships between the three genomes then allows us to build consensus maps of loci controlling any trait. In this paper we show such a map of some of the major genes and QTL effects that have been reported to be associated with pre-harvest sprouting. The result highlights regions of the genome that have featured in several studies and possible links between QTL and major genes. The same analysis can be extended to other economic grass crop species, where the comparative genome relationships are known in some detail. In this way, loci related to preharvest sprouting in wheat have been compared with some major genes affecting dormancy in maize and dormancy related QTLs in rice. This alignment identifies some candidate loci from maize and some regions of the rice genome that may relate to important wheat QTLs. In turn this approach will open up application of the emerging rice genomic DNA sequence to wheat pre-harvest sprouting research.

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Gale, M., Flintham, J. & Devos, K. Cereal comparative genetics and preharvest sprouting. Euphytica 126, 21–25 (2002).

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